The TWEET View
- Turnaround of T-Mobile (used as a case study for a classroom discussion)
- Write a living turnaround plan that identifies the work, the “working together” and the answer to the question “what do you want me to do?”
- Engage and empower the stakeholders to think together to enhance collective intelligence
- Execution mantra (operational excellence by design)
- T-Mobilization of customers to deliver a seamless multichannel experience and increase stickiness
Given the dynamics of the changing telecom ecosystem and the seismic shift in what buyers value, most of the carriers are often caught in a zone oscillating choice between product differentiation and cost leadership. This challenge imposes a mandate for market followers to reclaim lost marketshare (due to earlier misexecutions) and deliver innovations that lead to the creation of experiences that capture the customer’s imagination.
A recent survey conducted by eMarketer revealed that 68% of consumers’ smartphone use happens at home. The continuum of smarphone use spans across the following (Harvard Business Review, Jan 2013):
- Self-expression – Participation in hobbies and interests (1%)
- Discovery – Seeking news and information (4%)
- Preparation – planning for upcoming activities (7%)
- Accomplishing – Managing finances, health and productivity (11%)
- Shopping – Seeking a product or service (12%)
- Socializing – Interacting with other people (19%)
Understanding such a scenario and confronting the customer moments of truth is a not-to-miss opportunity for any brand to create an effective turnaround plan for corporate renewal. We analyze the business challenges facing T-Mobile in this case study.
Critical Success Factors
In order to achieve the objective of increasing shareholder value, a subset of critical success factors include the following:
- Increase the relationship capital of business processes with an outside in customer focus.
- Capture uncontested marketspace by breaking the value/cost tradeoff.
- Institutionalize operational excellence by design (Apple CEO Tim Cook’s values)
- X-ray and simplify everything using the “law of subtraction” and eliminate waste (i.e., avoid shareholder value destruction).
The questions that I’d like to explore are the following:
- What is the underlying business model for navigating in the Collaboration Economy (TM) “rooted in an emerging human culture of access, openness and trust?”
- What is the essence of the FISO (Fitting In and Standing Out) mindset so that it can cement connections, increase organizational learning and create the foundation for a performance-centered growth engine?
- How to reinvigorate the brand by becoming a cross-cultural learner with a BRICs and Clicks view of a multipolar world and promote the pursuit of frugal innovations (or “jugaad” in Hindi)? (BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India, China)
Jugaad is a colloquial Hindi word that roughly translates as “an innovative fix for your business; an improvised solution born from ingenuity and cleverness.” We can localize jugaad in other languages — Brazilian, Russian, Chinese, etc — to obtain a multicultural viewpoint.
Viewed through the lens of throughput operating strategy, using the twin strategies of Adaptation and Arbitrage (2 A’s) will enable T-Mobile compete more effectively for the future.
- Adaptation – Increase T-Mobile’s local relevance while serving underserved markets to claim uncontested marketspace
- Arbitrage – Balance supply and demand by leveraging CAGE differences between national or regional markets
- Degrees of Freedom: Mine the collective intelligence of the workforce for innovations and establish sustainable partnerships
- Constraints: Market, cost and resource constraints
The success of a turnaround hinges on measuring and managing while ensuring a phased transition from the emergency stage to the stabilization stage and eventually to the return to growth stage.
A detailed narrative of the envisioned turnaround of T-Mobile from a customer-centric viewpoint can be found here.